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Categorizing and Tracking the Severity of Customer Incidents

We are all familiar with the statement that “change begins with measurement”. When we look at the range of metrics used in Shared Services measuring what happens within Shared Services is almost always carefully defined, and tracking touch-points with other processes is increasingly a component.  More difficult, but yet perhaps more important is the need to track and report customer issues as a catalyst for improving work processes. 

A Peeriosity member at a large global manufacturing company was interested in improving their system for tracking and reporting customer issues, or “incidents” as they are referred to at their company.  They wanted to quickly understand what other Shared Services organizations were doing to define what a recordable incident was and if they were also assigning a level of significance or severity to the incident.  Using Peeriosity’s iPollingTM capability, the member was able to quickly understand how peer companies were tracking and reporting customer incidents.   

The poll results suggest that 90% of member companies perform some type of tracking of customer issues, with 50% tracking all incidents.  However, 35% of responding companies either do not have consistent definitions for what is recordable or do not perform a formal tracking of customer incidents.

Here are the details:

ipolling description of the company's current definition for recordable customer incident in shared services peeriosity results

When it comes to categorizing incidents and designating the severity or significance of the incident, 50% of the companies do both, with an additional 27% categorizing the incident without assigning a measure of significance. 

ipolling results inquiry on categorizing incidents and designating severity or significance

Here are some of the additional comments from responding companies:

  • We have a very robust case management system and process flow to track, report and analyze issues related to our client base.
  • We have a Tier 1 call center that is the front end for all of the Shared Service issue triage supporting 24 different services including Hire to Retire (Payroll, Benefits, Leave, Recruiting, EDA) Procure to Pay (AP, Supply Chain, Master Data) and Record to Report (GL, Finance). We triage and resolve or assign a case with a corresponding category and priority to a Tier 2 functional area.
  • The methodology for capturing all employee and retiree interactions is only for the Shared Services Group that provided payroll, benefits, and retiree information. This is separate from our HR Shared Services group. Their methodology is being defined as this is a brand new group at this point.
  • Our process varies by work stream: IS and HR call centers, Consumer Relations, Payroll – rigorous tracking, monitoring, root cause analysis, and insight capability. Order to Cash, Source to Settle, Record to Report, Product Lifecycle Management – all noted “exceptions” are analyzed for root cause and continuous improvement, including following up on key customer/stakeholder perceptions – less formal and built into GSS cultural behavior and leveraged through the governance process (Global Process Owners).
  • We are refining our process related to incident tracking. We have 4 regional centers: Poland, China, Mexico & U.S. and none have call centers. Our scope is Master Data, AP, AR, GL/FA, Payroll (EU/Poland, US, MX), T&E, P-Card, T&E, and P-Card Administration. Incidents are defined/recorded by the Ops Managers and discussed/reviewed in our weekly staff meeting with Ops Managers and Global Process Owners. No severity scale currently exists. We are looking forward to feedback and detailed definitions from this iPolling question to assist us in improving our process.
  • We record incidents that cause delay or error by using an online form that documents the concern, cause, and countermeasure. Actions are recorded.
  • In the U.S., we have contact centers for customers and suppliers to contact the AR and AP groups. These contacts are logged. For our internal customers, we do not track incidents or issues. I am interested in doing so if others feel there is value here.

 Is your company categorizing and tracking the severity of customer incidents? If yes, are you using the information to understand root causes and make corrections to your work processes?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


 “iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated e-mail system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participate in iPolling.

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